Point of View – Ear Cut Off

Searching His Word
Seeking His Heart

Perhaps you remember the incident in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus had taken the disciples with him at a late hour to pray and to prepare for what He knew would be his most difficult task yet, his crucifixion.

He asks his followers to pray and watch and takes Peter, James, and John further into the garden. Then, He goes even further for his own private time.

Eventually, the temple guards, along with the religious leaders, and the high priest’s servants come with their clubs and swords to arrest Jesus.

Matthew would have been there but farther back from Jesus. He reports it this way:

Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Matthew 26:50-51

Mark basically reports the same information as Matthew.

Dr. Luke, however, has an interest in what happened to this servant’s ear. As he investigates the details, he discovers two new things.

…one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. Luke 22:50-51

So, we learn from Luke that it is the right ear (whatever that matters) and, more importantly, that Jesus heals the man. Even in the midst of the turmoil and danger, Jesus cares for this enemy who has been injured.

And now, we go to John’s description.

Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) John 18:10

Ah, two more pieces of the puzzle. Peter was the one swinging the sword and Malchus was the name of the poor recipient of the sword. Thank you, John, for once again giving us names.

John was closer in proximity to Jesus, thus observing Peter and Malchus. In addition, it seems that John had a relationship to Caiaphas, the high priest, and others in the court.

Simon Peter and another disciple [John] were following Jesus. Because this disciple [John] was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus to the high priest’s courtyard, but Peter had to wait outside the door. [John] came back, spoke to the girl on duty there and brought Peter in. John 18:15-16

Apparently, John knew Malchus and also one of Malchus’ relatives. John mentions this relative as one of Peter’s accusers in the courtyard scene. (John 18:26)

Once again, we see different points of view. Matthew and Mark mention the incident in passing. Luke investigates his interest as a doctor. But John has personal information. Our views are valued more when we personally know those involved and have done reliable investigation. Something good to remember as we give our points of view.

~ Joyce ~  

Easter – the Agony Begins

Searching His Word   Seeking His Heart

Searching His Word
Seeking His Heart

It is with a heavy heart that I approach these next two blogs, but it is necessary to appreciate the depth of His glorious resurrection. 

Jesus and the eleven leave the upper room, plod down the hill away from the city, across the Kidron Valley and part way up the Mount of Olives to a familiar garden where they often come for prayer. Jesus tells them to, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” (Matt. 26:36) and “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” (Luke 22;39)

Then He takes his inner circle (Peter, James, and John) a little farther into the garden and confesses to them:

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Matt. 26:38

Do you hear His agony? He knows what is ahead. He has seen Roman crosses beside the road before as a warning to anyone who dares to defy Rome.  I often wonder, at what time in those years of ministry did he first realize the price He was going to pay. In this garden called Gethsemane (olive press), Jesus’ very soul is being pressed into submission.

We read Jesus’ lengthy 26-verse prayer in John 17. How did John know what Jesus said? Evidently at the beginning of this prayer, John was still awake and able to overhear Jesus in his agony. We hear much repetition in this prayer as may happen in some of our most agonizing prayers when we’re trying to express ourselves as many ways as possible over one particular issue. Perhaps as He speaks, His prayer grows louder.

Jesus longs for his close friends to pray as well, but Mark records that Jesus comes three times to the disciples and finds them sleeping. The first time he speaks directly to Peter.

“Simon, are you asleep? Could you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Mark 14:37-38

Yes, Peter, the spirit of denial is nipping at your heels.

We know that one of the things Jesus prays is:

“Father , if you are willing take this cup from me [the cup of suffering]: yet not my will but yours be done.” Luke 22:42

Luke tells us that Jesus’ praying becomes so fervent that he begins to sweat.

An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Luke 22:43-44

That, my friends, is more agony than I can imagine.

As you focus on the redemption plan God provided for you through Jesus’ sacrifice, meditate in these next days before Easter on what He endured for you. Move beyond your trite prayers, your pleas for all-things-me and give Him the praise and adoration He so richly deserves.

Sing:

Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe.

Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow.

~ Joyce ~